They make a pit, digging it out, and fall into the hole that they have made. (Psalm 7)
"Someone can be forty years old or more," which by the inflection of her tone meant critically ancient, "and still not be wise."
The young girl in Starbucks at the next table further explained to her young boyfriend, that yes, "It’s possible to learn from the experience of older people but that you have to be careful. It may not fit for you." Finishing her thought, she said, "In fact what might look like wisdom in an old person is just all that much more baggage."
(A tip: For picking up conversations of worth, whose vectors converge with what you happen to be reading…location, location, location.)
So I explored the convergence and thought…"All that baggage" is obviously the result of continually falling into holes we dig for ourselves. That is, baggage is accumulated as we apply the same solution to the same problems and expect different results. A silly human trait, well, mine at least, is that I can even be surprised at the same tired results.
Thing is, over time, if falling into our holes doesn’t wake us up to new perspectives, the resultant baggage composts. And the product of composted baggage is cynicism.
Perhaps cynicism is the most accurate definition of baggage-masquerading-as-wisdom. And perhaps Christian baggage-masquerading-as-wisdom is the deadliest form of cynicism. That’s because we can’t see it as cynicism.
It’s like this: "Since we’re going to be rescued anyway there’s no use polishing the brass handrails on a sinking ship." Well, our justifications for turning away from our world–from environment to neighbour–are probably more refined than this. But if in our Christianity we still unconsciously hold to a Greek dualism–spirit things good, matter dispensable–we can shield ourselves from new perspectives, from true wisdom, from learning, from life.
Having heaven, or "the next world" in our back pockets can keep us from real involvement in this world. This is exactly backwards to real Christianity. Our inheritance is Hebrew "earthiness". That’s the biblical notion that all created things are invested with divinity by virtue of their being created and so there is no disconnect between the spiritual and material.
Our plunging into this world, without being bought off by it, is both our salvation and the worlds own growth towards full creation.